The end of the academic year and the commencement of research time (that’s summer to the uninitiated!) was marked at the Manchester School of Architecture by a research presentation by Prue Chiles of the University of Sheffield School of Architecture. Prue is the Director of the Bureau of Design Research, an office which seeks to bridge the divide between practice and research which often characterises the academic architectural environment. BDR activity covers three main areas, New Futures, Learning Environments and Strategic and Community-led Regeneration, and their work exposes students of architecture to live projects with clients and communities, the progress of which are documented in academic publication. As their website says:
We bring ideas and research methodologies and apply them successfully in the real world. Our interest in processes, not just results, means that we can share ways of doing things, and work out why landmark projects succeed – and how to learn from them. We use art and design practices to enable people to think spatially and to help groups to create shared visions.